HC Deb 28 April 1976 vol 910 cc367-8
11. Mr. Luce

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he plans to meet the Foreign Minister of Irael.

Mr. Hattersley

My right hon. Friend will be delighted to meet Mr. Allon, but there are no plans for a meeting at present.

Mr. Luce

As it is in the British interest to see peace in the Middle East, will the right hon. Gentleman seek an opportunity of telling the Israeli Government that, whatever the injustices they have suffered over the past few years, their policy of deliberately establishing Jewish settlements in Arab-occupied territory in contravention of United Nations resolutions is likely to exacerbate the situation and to increase tensions in the area? Will the right hon. Gentleman convey that view to the Israeli Government?

Mr. Haftersley

I share the hon. Gentleman's view that to continue building settlements in occupied territory can only impede negotiations and the beginning of negotiations. As I hold that view, I am pleased to hear it articulated by the hon. Gentleman and to endorse it.

Mr. Robert Hughes

Will my right hon. Friend seek an early meeting with the Foreign Minister of Israel to express disquiet about reports that Rhodesian forces are at present training with and awaiting shipments of Israeli-made machine guns? Will he make it clear to the Foreign Minister of Israel that it would be a great disappointment to many of Israel's friends in Great Britain if Israel were to conclude an arms deal in respect of arms and equipment to South African forces?

Mr. Hattersley

As I have not heard of such reports, I am reluctant to comment on them. I share my hon. Friend's view that, if such reports were proved to be accurate, they would represent a great mistake, and many of Israel's friends in this country, among whom I number myself, would be deeply grieved.

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